One Person You Need for a Successful Career
These days, having a career is a creative act.
When I talk about careers, I mean your life’s work, not just your job. While jobs are certainly a component, our careers have bigger meaning that goes beyond stringing together a series of tasks to keep us occupied and with a roof over our heads.
Create your own path
The world of work is changing so fast that the old formulas no longer work – there are no more career “ladders” and we certainly don’t have guaranteed outcomes.
So if you aspire to a career that’s rewarding beyond a series of jobs, then you have to carve your own path.
That means being creative in putting together the series of projects, jobs, roles and “side gigs” that allow you to thrive. To be your best self and share your talents with the world while also providing for your daily living needs.
What every successful creator has
Since we’re all creators now, it’s important to know the one thing every successful creator has had: a “true believer”. Someone who recognizes your talent and cheers you on to your wins. People who support you through the tough times and help you believe in yourself when there’s doubt.
For Thomas Edison, it was his mother who helped him become one of the greatest inventors in the world after he was kicked out of school for lack of intelligence. For Vincent van Gogh, it was his brother who supported him as a starving artist.
In my own case, I’ve been fortunate to have true believers in my parents, then my husband, and now also my team and the mastermind communities I belong to.
They helped me during the many times I was about to quit but really wanted to stay. They also supported me when I needed the courage to say ‘yes’ to that stretch assignment. And more recently, they believed in me when I finally left my comfort zone to try something new.
Beyond sponsors and mentors
While your true believers might include your sponsor or mentors, it’s really a different role. Frankly, true believers are people who have your back in a way that goes way beyond what it means to be a sponsor or mentor.
In my experience, your true believers are typically behind-the-scenes and personal to you. That also makes the relationship portable – it’ll travel along with you whatever you do and whichever job you have. That’s why true believers are often family members or old friends.
Using famous people as an example, their true believers are likely to be people who knew them before they became the equivalent of Oprah. People who can be trusted and whose motives are not in question.
Nurture your true believers
But being a true believer doesn’t mean blindly supporting someone where there’s no substance. In fact, when someone is your true believer, they know your capabilities, passions and aspirations. And they also know how and where you shine.
To deserve a true believer, you must continually invest in your own growth and learning. By demonstrating your commitment to yourself and your career, you’ll have a better shot at holding onto those true believers and making your aspirations a reality.
As you create the career and life you want, who are your true believers? Take a moment to really think about this and then commit to nurturing those relationships because they are gold.
Hopefully, your life and career path will be long. And having those true believers by your side will make it more meaningful and prosperous as well.
Be a true believer
Then, most importantly, for whom are you a true believer? Treasure this role. Your contribution is significant and I’m sure you’re helping that person more than you can ever know.
Now it’s over to you.
How do you show appreciation for your true believers? And what will you do to support someone else you believe in?
Leave a comment and let me know.
As always, May, you impart some great insights. I applaud you for recognizing the role of family members and friends–outside of the job environment–as supporters and mentors. One of my “true believers” has been my husband, who has counseled me continuously and also served as a role model. I hope that he feels the same way about me as I truly believe in his amazing talents and innate abilities.
That’s wonderful to hear, Kathryn. That sounds like the basis for a great relationship. And your husband is fortunate to have you in his corner!
Thank’s May, as always this piece is full of golden nuggets of wisdom and practical advice, that if followed- will yield the fresh fruits that enrich our lives. My Minister and a best friend fill that believer role in my life. They both inspire me to dig deeper and believe in the giftings that Our Creator gives to us. This dynamic duo, that I am so fortunate to have, hold me accountable, in those moments when they feel I am not fully vested, relentlessly pursuing a challenge I am facing.They inspire me to believe I can conquer and overcome any giant or obstacle standing in the way of my success.
I am privileged to serve a millennial and pour the same inspiration and insight that I have been blessed to receive
You are welcome, Raymond. You are indeed fortunate to have your dynamic duo – may we all find our own versions. And lovely to know that you are passing this on to future generations. Keep going!